Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi dominated in day one of tests in the Losail Internacional Circuit of Doha, in Qatar. for the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix (MotoGP). Colin Edwards. Photo by Yamaha Team. All the...
Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi dominated in day one of tests in the Losail Internacional Circuit of Doha, in Qatar. for the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix (MotoGP).
All the MotoGP teams are present in this tests where the category will start it 2007 season on March 10th. Once again the new 800cc bikes were proven to be just as fast as their 990 predecessors, with five riders lapping under the current lap record, set by Rossi on route to victory here last year.
Edwards and Rossi were out in front of the field, with the American posting the fastest lap of the day in a time of 1'56 774. Rossi was just over a tenth of a second behind him with a best time of 1'56.891, followed by Casey Stoner, in a Ducati, with a time of 1'56.960.
"We're coming here off the back of a fantastic test in Sepang and we've started on pretty good form again today. Things aren't totally perfect; the first-choice front tyre that we found in Malaysia and which I was super- happy with isn't available here at the moment and I felt I was lacking a bit of feeling in the morning, but we changed a few things on the setting and at the end of the day everything made sense", Edwards commented.
"Despite the good time we've definitely got room for improvement, which we hope will come with a couple of different tyres tomorrow and some new things we want to try on the setting. Anyway, the really encouraging thing is that we've come to a new track and the bike has worked well straight out of the box; let's hope that's the case everywhere this year! We did a lot of work on the braking in Sepang and we don't have any problems with that here, so it looks like we fixed those problems. It's been a very productive first day in every aspect", finished the fastest man of the day.
His teammate Rossi proved once again he is ready to get the championship that lost last year in hands of Hayden. Rossi was close behind the 'Texan Tornado', trailing his Yamaha colleague by just over a tenth of a second. More and more comfortable on the 800cc M1, the Italian had a storming preseason so far, and continued to work hard on the bike at the track where he won his first race of the 2006 season.
"This is a very important test because the first race is here in just a few weeks, so we're working really hard in order to have the bike ready for that! Today was quite good and I am happy with the work we've done as a team; we were fast straight away and it's good to see that our bike works well at a different track. We continued to develop some things with the setting and we also worked on tyres with Michelin", expressed the five times World Champion.
"This is a hard track for them so it's important we are ready with the tyres for the first race. The bike felt very good from the start and you can ride it well; we don't have any chatter, or any particular problems at all, so we're in a better position than last year. I am also happy because Colin is fast; in fact, he's a little bit faster than me! This is a good sign though, because it shows how good our bike is. Of course we still have areas to improve and so we will continue to work hard for the next two days", Rossi added.
Stoner joined Edwards and Rossi as one of only three riders to break the 1'57 barrier as he revisited the scene of his first ever premier class pole.
"It has been a really positive day. I didn't know what to expect from this test because even though we went so fast at Phillip Island I thought that was mainly because it is a track that is really suited to the Ducati. In fact, the setting worked well here from the first few laps and with just a few small set-up changes the bike is working really well", mentioned the Australian.
Kenny Roberts Jr came up in sixth and was another rider to pick up the pace on the opening day in Qatar. After initial tests less than a month ago, the KR212V appears to have undergone a rapid development process as the team look to build on a resurgent final 990cc season.
Reigning World Champion Nicky Hayden was on the pace despite placing outside the fastest hour, just under half a second off Edwards' fastest lap at a session where the top ten were all within a breath of each other. He continued work on the new Michelin 16'' front tyre which is to become the French manufacturer's standard in 2007.
The activity will continue tomorrow as the teams tests new stuff getting ready for another exciting season of MotoGP.